Kerber’s Mental Game Keys to Success in Tennis

Tennis Psychology

Believe In The Process

There’s an old expression, “Seeing is believing.” This saying states that you need to see something before you can accept that it exists or can happen.

There is a fundamental problem with this saying… How can you believe you can accomplish something if you never had achieved that result before?

For example, if you never beat a rival in a tennis match, how can you be confident when you face that rival in an upcoming match?

If you never won a tournament in the past, does that imply you will never win any tennis tournaments?

If you look to the past as evidence of what will happen in the present, you will never accomplish anything.

The past should be viewed only as a reference point… “What do I need to do to improve my level of play for my next match?”

It is important that you understand the relationship between belief and confidence and how it affects your tennis matches.

Belief definitely affects confidence and confidence impacts performance but belief is a state of mind that sees something is possible even though it hasn’t existed in the past.

Belief is about the process… Belief “sees” each positive step as evidence that you are on the path towards accomplishing your goals…

With each step forward, with every lesson learned, and with any obstacle overcome, confidence grows because you know you are on the right path.

Stated in other terms, belief is the mentality that if you put in the work, you will get the reward.

Angelique Kerber is a prime example of belief in action. In Kerber’s previous 33 Grand Slam tournaments, she never advanced to the finals…

But at the 2016 Australian Open, not only did Kerber reach the finals, she defeated top-seed Serena Williams 6-4,3-6, 6-4 for the Grand Slam title.

Kerber admitted she had difficulty believing in her ability to win matches, despite playing great tennis in practice sessions.

KERBER: “Sometimes, I was not believing too much in myself. My coaches and everybody saw that I played very good in the practice. They couldn’t understand actually why I can’t transfer it to the matches.”

Kerber made a conscious effort to enter the 2016 Australian Open with a different mentality, the mindset to focus on going for each point and letting go of past results.

KERBER: “The mental part is really big… you must be relaxed and you must really believe in yourself… I really tried to improve my game, improve also my mentality, to stay more relaxed.”

With a greater focus on the process instead of results, Kerber played with a lighter load and a lessened sense of pressure.

Kerber’s belief in her ability to win matches was the key factor in beating Williams, who most consider the greatest women’s tennis player of all time.

You can belief in yourself if you are willing to commit to the process. Focus on constant improvement and work towards developing your game on a daily basis. If you are willing to commit, you will eventually “see” results.

Strategy for developing your self-belief:

Think of the process as building a bicycle. You need to follow a specific set of instructions to achieve the finished product.

Write out personalized instructions for what you need to do to achieve your goal… then get working. Every now and then, you need to step back to determine if what you are currently building will achieve what you envision.

Belief is the foundation on which success is built.

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If you’re not performing up to your potential in matches, most likely your mental game is holding you back. Are you so frustrated with your performance you feel like giving up? Does your confidence evaporate when you play in tournaments? Are you tired of working hard in practice and not getting any results in matches?

We can help you uncover the beliefs and attitudes that keep you from performing to your potential.

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